The leadup to the vote has been marked by tense — and sometimes violent — protests by opponents who claim that Wade’s reelection violates constitutional changes that Wade approved in 2001. Wade himself was booed when he went to vote earlier today in his own district.
Thirteen opposition candidates were approved to run against Wade and are expected to split the anti-Wade vote, allowing the current president to score a first-round victory. Other candidates, including popular Senegalese rapper Youssou N’Dour were not permitted to stand for election.
Results will not be released, however, until March 2, and it’s anyone’s guess whether anti-Wade protests will accelerate if, as expected, Wade is announced as the winner.
A compromise by former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo, under which Wade would agree to serve for just two years if reelected, was rejected yesterday.